Oslo, 14 November 2018 - MPC Container Ships ASA (the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into agreements for the purchase of five exhaust gas cleaning systems ("scrubbers") which are to be retrofitted on five selected vessels within the Company’s fleet prior to the 1 January 2020 implementation date of the new sulphur emission cap regulation, as set forth by the International Maritime Organization.
The agreements also include options to purchase scrubbers for up to 50 additional vessels, allowing for further installations in both 2019 and early 2020, respectively. The Company will be carefully evaluating further scrubber installations, on a vessel by vessel basis, and exercise further options in due course.
The Company sees significant interest from charterers for scrubber-fitted vessels and is in well-advanced negotiations with charterers for mid- to longer-term charter parties at favourable rates that are expected to yield attractive returns for the Company. Simultaneously, the Company is evaluating additional charters and seeks to take advantage of the high optionality of its scrubber agreements.
The scrubber investment program is expected to be financed with cash on hand and available debt capacity on the Company’s existing fleet.
CEO Constantin Baack comments in relation to the announcement: "Having conducted thorough analyses on the subject, we are excited about the opportunity to retrofit selected vessels with scrubbers as an economically attractive alternative of complying with the 2020 sulphur regulations. Moreover, the option to equip a larger portion of our fleet with scrubbers gives MPC Container Ships the strategic flexibility to adapt to new market environments as we deem fit."